March 6th, 2007

Prepare for Peace


photo credit: QuestionMark

Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

This latin phrase means “Therefore, he who desires peace, let him prepare for war.” There is wisdom in these words that is further accentuated with an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The gospel is a message of peace unto all those who receive it. But that peace comes only when our faith and works are in unison—when what we claim to believe and what we actually do are in harmony. As King Benjamin said, “…if you believe all these things see that ye do them.” Likewise, Ian Guwler said:

Peace of mind occurs when our actions match our beliefs. (via Quoty)

The actions we are commanded to do are often related to preparation for war, be it literal or spiritual. We are to prepare for the unknown. That encompasses war, man-made disasters, “natural” disasters, unforseen accidents or anything unexpected. Repeatedly have we as Saints received prophetic counsel to get out of debt, store a year’s supply of food and supplies, pursue education, and increase temple attendance (among a plethora of other things).

Peace will only be ours if we comply with these divine mandates. God has said that if we are prepared, we need not fear. Are our preparations complete? When disaster strikes, will we feel peace knowing that we are sufficiently prepared for the events to come? Or will we have procrastinated the day of our preparation? Of note, President Benson once said:

As a people it seems we can better endure persecution than we can peace and prosperity. (via Quoty)

The scriptures—a historically prophetic model for our own day—warn of sloth and indolence among the Saints. Christ taught of unwise virgins who delayed their preparations and were found unprepared when the Savior came to meet them. Amidst our peace and prosperity, many Saints have told themselves that he delayeth his coming, absolving themselves of any initiative or desire to prepare.

These unwise servants will someday be rebuked. Do we fit in this category, or are we preparing every needful thing? Are we buying big screen TVs and new cars when we have colossal debt and minimal storage? Do we waste money on buying the latest DVD when such items will be absolutely useless if and when there is an economic collapse?

Will we be able to feel peace when war comes to our land? When ATMs are cleared out, the dollar collapses, and the local grocery store is cleaned out, will we survive?

If we are doers of the word, we understand that the peace the gospel brings is closely connected to preparation. Part of the armor of God explains this:

[Stand, having] your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (Eph. 6:15, emphasis added)

Peace does not come without preparation.

Are you sufficiently prepared?

Read quotes about “preparedness” on Quoty

7 Responses to “Prepare for Peace”

  1. Bored in Vernal
    March 6, 2007 at 10:38 am #

    The things you mentioned are all things I heartily support and follow in my own life. But they are preparations for war, not for peace.
    Preparations for peace would be more along the lines of your trip to Africa, the faithful mission you served, opposing the killing of human beings.

  2. Connor
    March 6, 2007 at 10:45 am #

    But they are preparations for war, not for peace.

    I do see your point, but I’m referring to personal peace amidst times of chaos. That only comes with preparation “for war”. Serving AIDS orphans in Africa does promote peace, yet it won’t do me a world of good when the dollar collapses and store shelves are emptied. Both kinds of preparation, then, are beneficial.

    The Boy Scouts put it best in their motto: “be prepared”. That includes preparation for pretty much anything and everything, as it doesn’t specify any one type of preparation…

  3. RoAnn
    March 8, 2007 at 10:52 am #

    Connor, I really got a feeling of deja vu when I read this post.

    It took me back to my college days at BYU (late 50’s through the mid-60’s), when some professors, and some conservative pundits were convinced that we would soon have war with the Soviet Union. People were building bomb shelters underground in their back yards to prepare for the nuclear holocaust to come.

    Many Church members thought the Millennium was just around the corner, I was inclined to think they were right. The culture of drugs and sexual license was in gaining momentum, and it seemed that America was forsaking the principles of the Founding Fathers.

    My parents lived in New York, and when the Church announced they were locating a chapel and offices across from Lincoln Center, I asked them why we were going to all that expense when it would likely be destroyed in the chaos prior to the Second Coming. My parents pointed out that the Brethren knew what they were doing, and that I should not put off all my plans for the future, because it would probably be a very long time before the Second Coming arrived. Now the Manhattan temple is located in that building in Mid-town NYC. Good thing I was not the one in charge back then!

    In my opinion, it’s a great idea to be prepared in all the ways (materially and spiritually) our leaders have told us about. It’s very wise to try to promote peace by living righteously and reaching out to other in love and compassion.

    But, it is probably also prudent to do what we need to in order to enjoy living, serving, and raising a family in the world as it is now, just in case the “big changes” are still a good ways off. :)

  4. Connor
    March 8, 2007 at 10:58 am #

    RoAnn,

    Agreed. I had this very discussion with my mother last night, who commented that she went through the same “phase I’m in” when she was my age, obsessing (?) with current events, their political implications, and possible association to last day prophecy. We agreed that history repeats itself, yet there is a downward spiral of morality and spirituality that compounds the seriousness of these repeated events. Eventually the wars and destruction will become far worse, and we won’t be able to use the reasoning “oh, this happened decades ago too, so no biggy…” :)

    Wilford Woodruff once said, referring to the second coming, “I would live as if it were to be tomorrow—but I am still planting cherry trees!”

    Wise counsel, wouldn’t you agree?

  5. RoAnn
    March 8, 2007 at 11:19 am #

    Connor, re Wilford Woodruff’s advice–I definitely agree it is very wise counsel!

  6. bonnie merrell
    March 12, 2007 at 9:48 pm #

    My Great-grandfather, Jesse N. Smith, believed that the best way to have peace was to be prepared for war. I agree with everything you have to say completely! I’ve read a few of your other posts and appreciate your thoughts!

  7. Connor
    January 7, 2008 at 6:39 pm #

    I just came across the following two quotes in Skousen’s The 5,000 Year Leap and thought I’d post them on this thread as other supporting statements:

    The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for ’tis a wise and true saying, that “One sword often keeps another in the scabbard.” The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure, and negligent. (Benjamin Franklin, via Quoty)

    To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. (George Washington, via Quoty)

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